Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Inspired by the Stanford Prison Experiment, this psychological drama focuses on twenty paid recruits who are divided into groups "prisoners" and "guards" and are let loose in a controlled prison-like environment.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. 80
    En route, we also get a chance to examine the nature of the self and the responsibilities of science. Das Experiment has all this and more, excitingly packaged as a prison movie featuring superb performances and high emotional tension.
  2. This is a grimly thrilling movie that falls somewhere between clear-eyed realism and the improbabilities of an action flick.
  3. 75
    What impressed me is how effective the movie was, even though the outcome is a foregone conclusion. That's a tribute to the director, Oliver Hirschbiegel, and the actors, who have been chosen with the same kind of typecasting that perhaps occurs in life.
  4. Reviewed by: Ed Halter
    70
    After the film's ultraviolent finale (set to the tacky beats of synth-pop volksmusik), one wonders whether this sharp bit of fascinating fascism provides a true analysis of television's new mean streak, or simply an engaging indulgence in same.
  5. Reviewed by: Janice Page
    63
    This cacophonous ending may serve to reinforce the filmmakers' cynical themes, but it leaves viewers trying desperately to remember the part of the film that had brains, wit, and so much promise.
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    60
    The film's hysterically pitched action overshadows its more subtle psychological points.
  7. Too much of a mess to say anything with assurance, pieced together as it is from mismatched institutional movies such as "Cool Hand Luke" and "Shock Corridor" -- with "Lord of the Flies" thrown in for good measure -- and turning on plot points that simply don't wash.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Jan 23, 2014
    6
    This film was intense. It was based off the Stanford Prison Experiment, but if I remember correctly, nobody really died at the end of it,This film was intense. It was based off the Stanford Prison Experiment, but if I remember correctly, nobody really died at the end of it, though someone did get removed early, and some of the psychologists actually tried to stop the experiment earlier than 6 days. Great performance by everyone in the cast. But I'm not a big fan of the story, since it seemed a bit melodramatic; the phrase "that escalated quickly" really describes this film. I wish they'd actually stuck to the facts instead of aiming for the disgust factor. They made the psychologists look like real genuine gullible idiots in this film; first, they let an ex-convict in (they obviously did not do any background checks), second, they let a potentially psychopathic guy in, third, they took their participants at their word (people lie, it's a fact). Expand
  2. Feb 24, 2015
    3
    I got this movie after I discovered it was written, produced & directed by the genius behind Prison Break Paul T Scheuring.

    The two leads
    I got this movie after I discovered it was written, produced & directed by the genius behind Prison Break Paul T Scheuring.

    The two leads are brilliant, and it was clear from this film how they were both Oscar winners.

    A couple of the scenes were brutal, overall a good movie, not the best I've ever seen, but I'm glad I bought it.
    Expand

See all 6 User Reviews

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